Staff Directory 10645841

Michael Russo

Reporter | Wild, NHL
Michael Russo has covered the NHL since 1995 and the Minnesota Wild for the Star Tribune since 2005.
Recent content from Michael Russo
Wild notes: Advanced stats reflect well on Niederreiter

Wild notes: Advanced stats reflect well on Niederreiter

For much of his four seasons with the Wild, Nino Niederreiter has been an analytics darling. Just don't ask him to explain how.
Wild finishes 'long grind' of a road trip with gritty win in Toronto

Wild finishes 'long grind' of a road trip with gritty win in Toronto

Thanks to Devan Dubnyk's continued stellar play - he made 17 of 35 saves in the third period - the Wild tiptoed to victory over the Maple Leafs to end a grueling trip.
Insisting he's healthy, Wild's Parise battles scoring drought

Insisting he's healthy, Wild's Parise battles scoring drought

Zach Parise, who entered this season with 105 goals in 259 games with the Wild, has four goals and five assists in 17 games this season.
Wild beats Oilers 2-1 on Koivu's fifth career OT goal

Wild beats Oilers 2-1 on Koivu's fifth career OT goal

The captain scored on a pretty deke and backhander after Charlie Coyle set him up to tie Brent Burns with a team-record fifth career overtime goal.
Wild's Devan Dubnyk compiles Carey Price-like stats

Wild's Devan Dubnyk compiles Carey Price-like stats

Devan Dubnyk loves that his statistics have been mentioned in the same breath as NHL standard-bearer Carey Price, but the Wild goalie stops anybody short who wants to compare the two any further.

Preview: Wild at Edmonton

The Wild is still looking for its first victory in a five-game road trip, but the team has had success in Edmonton.
Oilers captain Connor McDavid's mind as quick as his legs

Oilers captain Connor McDavid's mind as quick as his legs

Connor McDavid is already among the league's elite at age 19.

Game recap: Calgary 3, Wild 2 (SO)

A quick look at Friday's game.
Wild rallies to tie before losing to Flames in shootout

Wild rallies to tie before losing to Flames in shootout

Boudreau gets point but seeks more from stars.
Wild focuses on bringing life back to penalty kill

Wild focuses on bringing life back to penalty kill

Wild's penalty-kill unit had a meeting Thursday to "reset" before hitting the Saddledome ice with the intention of patching up the leaks.
'Ridiculous' play leads to extra Wild practice at rundown arena

'Ridiculous' play leads to extra Wild practice at rundown arena

Before practice, the coaching staff showed several video clips of the Canucks loss. Coach Bruce Boudreau admitted the Zach Parise-Eric Staal-Charlie Coyle line starred in the film, and not in a good way.
Angry Boudreau unloads after Wild's 5-4 loss to Vancouver

Angry Boudreau unloads after Wild's 5-4 loss to Vancouver

The Wild gave up a two-goal lead Tuesday night, rallied, then lost on a late goal. The coach was unhappy with the team's defense, penalty killing efforts and Zach Parise's line.
Family feud: Granlunds battle tonight when Wild plays Vancouver

Family feud: Granlunds battle tonight when Wild plays Vancouver

The Wild is 3-0 in Granlund vs. Granlund showdowns, but this will be their first meeting since Markus was traded from Calgary to Vancouver in February.
Wild notes: Coyle getting the message to shoot more

Wild notes: Coyle getting the message to shoot more

The Wild first-line right wing, who forced overtime during the Wild's 4-3 shootout loss Saturday, has 51 shots, second on the team behind linemate Eric Staal.
Skills, personality make Wild's Brodin unique

Skills, personality make Wild's Brodin unique

Jonas Brodin has teammates gushing about his skills and chuckling about his quirks.
One point only: Wild can't leapfrog Blues following shootout loss

One point only: Wild can't leapfrog Blues following shootout loss

Charlie Coyle forced OT, but the Blues won in a shootout.
Wild's Zucker, brothers give Vegas kids a taste of the NHL

Wild's Zucker, brothers give Vegas kids a taste of the NHL

With the NHL coming to Las Vegas next season, the hope is that one day the youth programs grow to the point that the Wild's Jason Zucker isn't the lone Vegas product in the league.
Wild's three power-play goals lead to romp over Pittsburgh

Wild's three power-play goals lead to romp over Pittsburgh

Wild ties season-high scoring mark in post-Thanksgiving romp over Penguins
Back in Minn., Matt Cullen counts his blessings for Thanksgiving

Back in Minn., Matt Cullen counts his blessings for Thanksgiving

It's been a thankful year for Matt Cullen, who won a Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh and was able to see family for the holiday while in town to play the Wild.
Low-scoring game eventually turns Wild's way

Low-scoring game eventually turns Wild's way

Goals by Mikko Koivu, Jonas Brodin and Zach Parise are enough to get past Jets.
Wild waits for ailing Parise to regain form

Wild waits for ailing Parise to regain form

The Wild winger only played for the fourth time in 11 games Wednesday night against the Winnipeg Jets because of what turned out to be a knee injury, then strep throat.
Jake Guentzel has dazzling debut in front of family

Jake Guentzel has dazzling debut in front of family

Being the coach that Mike Guentzel is and being the former player that Ryan Guentzel is, it should come as no shock that their proudest moment Monday night wasn't even when Mike's youngest son and Ryan's youngest brother, Jake, scored on his first NHL shot on his first shift for Pittsburgh against the New York Rangers.
For Wild's Dalpe, jammin' with idols from O.A.R. was a thrill

For Wild's Dalpe, jammin' with idols from O.A.R. was a thrill

Zac Dalpe, 27, plays guitar, sings at weddings and went to Ohio State. So it was kind of a big deal when members of O.A.R. showed up at the X for a skate because of their Wild connection.
Where's the offense? Wild falls to Dallas in overtime

Where's the offense? Wild falls to Dallas in overtime

Bruce Boudreau said looked for a while like the Wild was 'skating in quicksand' as the offense keeps struggling to gain traction.
Suter still thriving, even with Wild reining in ice time

Suter still thriving, even with Wild reining in ice time

Suter still ranks second in the league in ice time at 27 minutes, 18 seconds per game, but that's down from 28:35 (second in the NHL) last season.
Colorado's third-period goal rush sinks Wild 3-2

Colorado's third-period goal rush sinks Wild 3-2

It was 2-0 when Colorado shattered Devan Dubnyk's roll by scoring three times in less than 6 minutes.
Four Wild prospects are regarded as locks for world junior team

Four Wild prospects are regarded as locks for world junior team

Expected in the tournament: the United States' Luke Kunin and Jordan Greenway, Sweden's Joel Eriksson Ek and Russia's Karill Kaprizov.
Last-minute goal gives Wild 1-0 win over Boston

Last-minute goal gives Wild 1-0 win over Boston

A fortunate deflection by Mikael Granlund gave the Wild a win as hot goalie Devan Dubnyk picked up his fourth shutout of the season.
Wild goes with 'best viable option' in returning Eriksson Ek to Sweden

Wild goes with 'best viable option' in returning Eriksson Ek to Sweden

"It's just another step along the way," Joel Eriksson Ek said after the Wild opted not to keep him on the NHL roster for the rest of the season.
Wild flustered and frustrated in 1-0 loss to Flames

Wild flustered and frustrated in 1-0 loss to Flames

Two shots off the post and a missed chance on a breakaway, combined with a series of penalties, contributed to the Wild inability to score against Calgary's backup goalie.
Postgame: After solid road trip, Wild predictably gets shut out by worst defensive team in NHL

Postgame: After solid road trip, Wild predictably gets shut out by worst defensive team in NHL

The Wild came home and faced a backup goalie for a team that surrenders the most goals in the NHL, has the worst save percentage, the 29th-ranked penalty kill and the worst goal differential in the league. So, naturally, the Wild lose 1-zip.
Return to Sweden looking more likely for Wild's Eriksson Ek

Return to Sweden looking more likely for Wild's Eriksson Ek

With rookie Joel Eriksson Ek getting fourth-line minutes and staring at a potential second consecutive healthy scratch Tuesday night, the Wild has a significant decision to make.
Zach Parise could return to Wild lineup Tuesday

Zach Parise could return to Wild lineup Tuesday

Winger, out injured since Oct. 27, could return tonight vs. Flames.
Wild notes: Game in Ottawa returns Graovac to junior roots

Wild notes: Game in Ottawa returns Graovac to junior roots

When Tyler Graovac steps that first toe onto the ice at Canadian Tire Centre on Sunday, it'll be a dream come true.
Instead of building, Wild collapses in Philadelphia

Instead of building, Wild collapses in Philadelphia

The Flyers show better spark and make the Wild pay for its breakdowns.
Wild hands defending champion Penguins first home loss of season

Wild hands defending champion Penguins first home loss of season

The Wild recorded a season-high 44 shots, and got three points from Eric Staal for the first time in his Wild career.
Patient Mitchell gets promoted by Wild for taste of NHL

Patient Mitchell gets promoted by Wild for taste of NHL

Undrafted, Zack Mitchell spent five years playing for the Ontario Hockey League's Guelph Storm, then signed with the Wild and spent two full seasons in Iowa without even a call-up.
Getting NHL franchise up and running in Las Vegas keeping McPhee busy

Getting NHL franchise up and running in Las Vegas keeping McPhee busy

McPhee, who spent 17 years with the Washington Capitals, was hired to manage the soon-to-be named team in July.
Zucker seems like natural fit for Las Vegas expansion team

Zucker seems like natural fit for Las Vegas expansion team

"A million scenarios" figure into Wild winger's possible move to hometown team.
With tough road trip upcoming, Boudreau turns to old-school conditioning

With tough road trip upcoming, Boudreau turns to old-school conditioning

After running a hard practice for nearly an hour, coach Bruce Boudreau sounded like a drill sergeant as he urged players during the ensuing skate-a-thon.
Wild's power play struggling on its few chances

Wild's power play struggling on its few chances

The Wild is 5-for-34 this season with a man advantage, a 14.7 percentage that ranks 20th in the NHL. On the road, the Wild ranks dead last at 5 percent (1-for-20).
Wild notes: Scuffle between Dubnyk, Landeskog just part of the game

Wild notes: Scuffle between Dubnyk, Landeskog just part of the game

In the middle of a scoreless third period Saturday afternoon, Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk and Avs captain Gabriel Landeskog went toe-to-toe.
Future might be now for Wild's Eriksson Ek

Future might be now for Wild's Eriksson Ek

Six games into his NHL career, the 20th overall pick in the 2015 draft looks as if he belongs. But the Wild is carefully considering how to handle Joel Eriksson Ek's career.
Wild's best line is good, but the goal is greatness

Wild's best line is good, but the goal is greatness

Bruce Boudreau is used to coaching teams with gamebreakers such as Alex Ovechkin and Corey Perry, and it remains to be seen if the Wild has that type of player.
Boudreau irked after his 'frustrating team' falls to Buffalo

Boudreau irked after his 'frustrating team' falls to Buffalo

The Wild's up-and-down ways surfaced Tuesday night at Xcel Energy Center in a 2-1 loss to the Sabres. The Wild had "no life and no energy" in the first period, coach Bruce Boudreau said.
Back up with Wild, Schroeder embraces challenge

Back up with Wild, Schroeder embraces challenge

Jordan Schroeder feels he has done a good job staying positive despite the constant shuttle between Minnesota and AHL Iowa.
As team seeks solutions, Wild's roster problems irritating Boudreau

As team seeks solutions, Wild's roster problems irritating Boudreau

Only 14 skaters — four fewer than the number allowed to dress for a game — took part in Monday's practice because of injuries, illness and serious salary-cap issues.
Wild's Dubnyk is No. 2 Star of the Week

Wild's Dubnyk is No. 2 Star of the Week

Wild goalie is happy for his Ottawa counterpart who edged him out for the No. 1 star.
Smart play, scoring balance part of Wild's new identity

Smart play, scoring balance part of Wild's new identity

Despite almost every game going AWOL for at least one period of hockey, the Wild has so far overcome the spurts of inadequacy and a series of injuries.
Wild notes: Parise scratched, but injury not related to back problem

Wild notes: Parise scratched, but injury not related to back problem

Forward Zach Parise is being hampered by a foot injury suffered two games ago from blocking a shot by Boston's Brandon Carlo
Dubnyk dominates Buffalo with second straight shutout in Wild's 4-0 win

Dubnyk dominates Buffalo with second straight shutout in Wild's 4-0 win

Two nights after blanking Boston, Devan Dubnyk made 19 of his 38 saves in the second period for his 21st career shutout. It was the second time in his career he posted consecutive shutouts.
Dalpe's first NHL fight was with a friend - Boston's Schaller

Dalpe's first NHL fight was with a friend - Boston's Schaller

Zac Dalpe and Tim Schaller, each trying to make an impression on their new coaches, were trying to fire up their individual teams
After shutout vs. Bruins, Dubnyk's memory bank gets brief reprieve

After shutout vs. Bruins, Dubnyk's memory bank gets brief reprieve

"It's a goalie's curse," the Wild's Devan Dubnyk said. "I could probably tell you exactly how every goal went in for the last probably several seasons."
Eriksson Ek, Zucker spark Wild to 5-0 win in Boston

Eriksson Ek, Zucker spark Wild to 5-0 win in Boston

In his third NHL game, 19-year-old Joel Eriksson Ek had three assists to help the Wild win on the road for the first time this season.
Eriksson Ek enjoying new experiences in NHL with Wild

Eriksson Ek enjoying new experiences in NHL with Wild

Wild rookie Joel Eriksson Ek's parents, Anna and Clas, plan to fly from Sweden for Saturday's home game against Dallas "if I'm still here."
Wild spends day revisiting the Boudreau basics

Wild spends day revisiting the Boudreau basics

Bruce Boudreau held a remedial session of sorts on Monday in Boston. Once again, he tried to jam certain facets of his system into the brains of his Wild players.
Kuemper's rough night in goal leads to 6-3 Wild loss to Islanders

Kuemper's rough night in goal leads to 6-3 Wild loss to Islanders

Zach Parise scored two goals, including the 300th of his career, but the Islanders scored three times in the second and third periods to send the Wild to another road loss.
Devils beat Wild, despite rookie's goal in debut

Devils beat Wild, despite rookie's goal in debut

Minnesota scored first on Joel Eriksson Ek's tally, but made crucial errors down the stretch.
Wild promotes Eriksson Ek for NHL debut, sends Reilly back to Iowa

Wild promotes Eriksson Ek for NHL debut, sends Reilly back to Iowa

The 19-year-old from Sweden became the seventh Wild player in history to score in his first game. The first was Marian Gaborik in 2000. The last one to do so before Saturday was Mikael Granlund in 2013.
Wild assistant coach Stevens left mark on game as player

Wild assistant coach Stevens left mark on game as player

Former star defenseman who once dealt hits now imparts his wisdom.
Third-period rally lifts Wild over Maple Leafs

Third-period rally lifts Wild over Maple Leafs

Minor-league journeyman Zac Dalpe played a key role by scoring the tying goal before Eric Staal won it.
Illness alters Wild's defensive shuffle

Illness alters Wild's defensive shuffle

Defenseman Matt Dumba wound up playing against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday because Marco Scandella wasn't able to go because of an illness.
Hottest thing on ice — Toronto's Matthews — comes to St. Paul

Hottest thing on ice — Toronto's Matthews — comes to St. Paul

NHL rookie Auston Matthews wowed the Wild — from afar — with his four-goal debut last week for the Maple Leafs. And now Toronto comes to town Thursday.
Saved by the iron early, Wild shows its mettle in win over Kings

Saved by the iron early, Wild shows its mettle in win over Kings

While Los Angeles hit the pipe three times in the first period, the Wild scored three times in under 5 minutes in the second and hung on against the Kings.
As Parise nears goal milestone, it's still about the work

As Parise nears goal milestone, it's still about the work

One of these nights, maybe Tuesday against the Los Angeles Kings, Zach Parise will become the third Minnesota-born 300-goal scorer.
Dubnyk, Wild enjoying early penalty-kill success

Dubnyk, Wild enjoying early penalty-kill success

Goalie Devan Dubnyk, like the Wild, was handicapped by a backbreaking penalty kill last season, which mysteriously tumbled from first in the NHL in 2014-15 to 27th.

Wild adds size, dressing Folin instead of Reilly

The 6-3, 204-pound Christian Folin suited up in place of Mike Reilly on Saturday for the Wild. Reilly had a tough opener Thursday in St. Louis.
Wild sees 'window' to succeed right now

Wild sees 'window' to succeed right now

Age, contract realities make the Wild's core hungry for a breakthrough this season. The home schedule opens Wednesday night against the Jets.
'Late-arriving' Wild a step slow in season-opening loss to St. Louis

'Late-arriving' Wild a step slow in season-opening loss to St. Louis

The Wild was overpowered by the Blues in Bruce Boudreau's Minnesota coaching debut, falling 3-2 in St. Louis. "We were a step behind it seemed all night long," Boudreau said.
Boudreau, Hitchcock adapt to more responsibility in today's NHL

Boudreau, Hitchcock adapt to more responsibility in today's NHL

Running a bench is a lot more complex than when the Wild's Bruce Boudreau and the St. Louis Blues' Ken Hitchcock began coaching.
Six keys to the Wild taking the next step this NHL season

Six keys to the Wild taking the next step this NHL season

With a new coach and a new top-line center, the Wild must walk before it can run
From initial ire grew a tight friendship for Wild's Coyle, Zucker

From initial ire grew a tight friendship for Wild's Coyle, Zucker

Eight years after their first on-ice clash as rivals, Charlie Coyle and Jason Zucker are teammates, former roommates and best friends.
Michael Russo's NHL season preview and predictions

Michael Russo's NHL season preview and predictions

The way the NHL stacks up might look a lot like it finished last season, with the Wild poised to be where it often seems to be — on the playoff bubble.
Wild's Staal is putting polish on a career reboot

Wild's Staal is putting polish on a career reboot

One of four current NHL players since 2003 who has played at least 900 games and tallied at least 300 goals, 400 assists and 700 points, he is coming off his toughest season.
Wild doesn't offer Ryan Carter a contract

Wild doesn't offer Ryan Carter a contract

Carter, who spent the past two seasons with his hometown Wild but attended training camp on a tryout, told the Star Tribune that he was delivered the difficult news Sunday.
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